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October 31, 2008

Assam blasts, MNS issue

Filed under: attack, India, news, times of india — neosurya @ 13:30

Read in the Times of India about the serial blasts in Assam. I have included screenshots of some of the pages in the pdf at this link. What have we come to….

Several articles talked about the Assam blasts.
The front page:
Assam serial blasts kill 66 9 Blasts In 30 Mins

Page 4:
City Assamese stunned at the scale of attacks

Page 13:
“‘Ulfa could have been wiped out’ Army Slams Flip-Flop Policies Of Govts In Tackling N-E Militant Outfit”

The Govt. has been handling this issue with loose gloves. This attitude has been there for several aspects, for example with handling of the MNS activities in Mumbai… The MNS issue is much smaller in scale, but the symptoms are same.

Articles about the MNS-sponsored “terror” in Mumbai:
Front page:
“Slap NSA on Raj, says Union cabinet”

Page 2:
“Father of dead UP man rejects state’s offer of Rs 2 lakh”

Related to a statement made by the father of the UP resident who was thrashed on a local train. Id suggest reading the entire article for the more interesting tidbits anout why he was beaten up, and why the Govt. offered the compensation.

“Patil takes on Lalu, Nitish Kumar”

Page 3:
“MNS mayhem: CM, dy CM under fire”

“Rly’s window angle may weaken its case: Lawyers”
The title does a good summary of the article content; it is lamentable that several authorities want to push issues under the carpet instead of finding the real solution. The article on ULFA extremists also speaks about a similar attitude regarding a different problem (Page 13): “‘Ulfa could have been wiped out’ Army Slams Flip-Flop Policies Of Govts In Tackling N-E Militant Outfit”

There is an article that throws light on how the Govt. can also be very efficient in tackling sensitive issues. Page 4 “Last two shrines on Santa Cruz Rd to be moved”; This one is about the success of MMRDA in moving shrines that fell on the link roads that are being developed. The shrines belong to different religions, and going by the article, the organization has been able to work across religious sentiments.

Page 7:
“Marathis are our brothers, says Rahul Raj’s father”
Rahul Raj is the dude who hijacked a bus at Kurla in Mumbai on Monday this week. By the looks of it, he got a heroes welcome in Patna. To quote the article:
“Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and PHED minister Ashwini Kumar Chaubey represented the state government at the cremation, which was also attended by Patna MP Ram Kripal Yadav and hundreds of others. The bier was carried by Rahul’s friends, even as the district administration had arranged a flower-bedecked truck for the purpose.”

Page 18, editorial article:
“Not Yours Or Mine”
The article is about how Mumbai and its spirit is being damaged by political parties which are trying to look for short term gains. It quotes a policeman saying: “Mumbai kisi ke baap ki hahin hai”.

There are also two half-page ads about Indira Gandhi; in essence a tribute to her martyrdom. One ad is on the 4th page by the “Ministry of Information and Broadcasting” and another on the 13th page by the “Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of School Education and Literacy, and Department of Higher Education”. The money for this has probably come from the respective Govt. bodies.


October 16, 2008

“No Fridge”

So, I have been living without a refrigerator for the past few weeks. And I buy vegetables once a week and cook at home every day. A few friends asked me how I manage to keep things fresh. The following pictures show how it went; I had taken the first picture on Monday when these vegetables were purchased. The second image is from Thursday; one of the carrots has gone bad, but most of them are all right. The third and fourth images have been taken on Sunday. How to do it is shown in images 5 and 6.

Day 1: Monday

Day 4: Thursday

Day 7: Sunday.

Solution: A wet cloth.

For the skeptics among us, please recall the local bhaji-waala… Do you remember any refrigerators lurking away in a corner of their shops? Oh yes, one very intelligent friend pointed out that they have these cooling units at their homes where they store the veggies. Very innovative; I presume the units are capable of storing some 20-30 kilos of vegetables, and the thela-waala runs a very profitable business by paying for electricity in their shanties. Dudes, ever notice the gunny bags and the big wicker baskets? Wonder why the bags are perennially wet, dark and not dry. Put one at home with a tomato or two in it and you would know why.

Several vegetables and fruits are naturally capable of staying fresh for at least a week on their own. They only need to be draped over with a wet cloth for the time period. I am not suggesting that one should replace their refrigerators. I am not a fanatic Greenpeace activist. However, I would prefer to use technology when nature may not work; like making ice for your Patiala peg :). I also believe in eating fresh vegetables, and absolutely hate the “fridge stink” that tends to stick onto veggies.

BTW, a wet cloth does not work for everything. For example cracked coconut, or ginger. I am sure there are ways to keep them fresh for a few days without the use of a refrigerator. When I find the method, I will post it promptly. In the meantime, I have found a possible solution for keeping milk fresh. Figure below:

Keeping milk fresh: The most popular approach at Shekhar’s farm.

October 13, 2008

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — neosurya @ 13:29

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

October 10, 2008

Then, the diesel ran out

Filed under: environment, social change — neosurya @ 12:36

Last night, we had a power cut for more than 4 hours; generators kicked in at 8:00 when the power cut began. At about 12:00 or so, diesel ran out in our building. By 1:00, diesel ran out in a neighboring building. Several flats in Bangalore have a generator system. I wondered what would happen if there was an extended power cut for a much longer time and diesel ran out at more places then today.

A parallel can be drawn to the lack of order, lawlessness, and other aspects in our country. Folks having resources have resorted to creating their own “backup” systems to stay away from these drawbacks. Some friends live in other countries to escape these problems, creating their own little India’s; others use their power or wealth to bypass the correct process; still others crib and refuse to participate in their civic responsibilities. I wonder what they would do when the problem overflows their systems and the “diesel runs out”.

BTW, there is another aspect about people creating their own little India’s; they think that other cultures are less holy. I guess this is a part and parcel of every “way of life” out there. Several groups in North America and most of the West believe that “urban, consumer-driven, sex-based” lifestyle is the best representation of a free, developing world. Large sections of India, think that it is the epitome of ethics. The West pushes its lifestyle by way of foreign policies and IMF/WB. The latter groups behavior gets reflected in the personal lives of each Indian. A closely related point is raised in the movie “Khuda ke Liye”; It is a Pakistani movie with a strong message.

October 9, 2008

Industrialization, and the role of Asia….

Filed under: India, market, social change — neosurya @ 12:33

Was reading up on cars, looking for reviews of the Tata Indigo Marina, and ended up reading quite a bit about the nano. The following article had an interesting take on how Asian industrial revolution must take place:

Excerpts of some comments on the article are below:

“Kristina: It is a question of whether Asia is lured by the West’s highly charged, fully saturating consumer culture or is able to redefine economic drivers in terms of Asia’s own traditions. India’s heritage is so rich: The real innovation would be if that culture could inspire a new economy that is unburdened by all the mistakes and excesses of the West’s industrial age. To a degree, it’s already happening with the sharing and/or renting of computer and phone time within small Indian communities. ”

“Shbhatia: If Asia was left alone in the 1600s, it would probably still be society of peace loving, meditating, spiritual folks searching for the meaning of life, with nature keeping the population under check, in harmony with the environment. The problem is, anything that is sensitive to others, is deemed as weak by the West, and one thing that West does not know is to leave something alone. East is evolving much in response to the West and hence the correlation between the socio-economic models and the innovation patterns.”

PS: I have reproduced an article here, and do not know the copyright issues involved; If a reader knows that it violates a copyright, pleae let me know.

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